Women Rights Activist For Barack Obama: Hillary Clinton Lies

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Trying to Heal a Rift in New Hampshire By Alec MacGillis *******blog.washingtonpost****/the-trail/2008/01/...
Trying to Heal a Rift in New Hampshire By Alec MacGillis *******blog.washingtonpost****/the-trail/2008/01/18/trying_to_heal_a_rift_in_new_h_1.html Three New Hampshire Democratic leaders who signed a letter two days before the state's primary at the request of Hillary Clinton's campaign, attacking Barack Obama as soft in his support for abortion rights, are asking Obama supporters in the state to put the rifts of the primary campaign behind them and praising Obama for being "strongly pro-choice." Of the two dozen prominent women who signed the critical letter, e-mailed by the Clinton campaign to a list of supporters and undecided voters, three have now signed their names to another missive asking abortion rights supporters in the state to come together and take comfort in the fact that all of the Democratic presidential candidates are firmly pro-choice. One of the three Clinton supporters went even further, saying in an interview Thursday that signing the letter attacking Obama was a "mistake." Katie Wheeler, a former state senator, said the Clinton campaign had not given her background information about Obama's record on abortion rights when it asked her to sign the letter calling him weak on the issue, and said that, as a result, she did not understand the context of the votes that the letter was attacking him over. "It should never have gotten to the point where anyone thought Obama was not pro-choice," said Wheeler, a founder of the New Hampshire chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "I don't think the Clinton campaign should have done that. It was divisive and unnecessary...I think it was a mistake and I've spoken to the national [Clinton campaign] and told them it caused problems in New Hampshire, and am hoping they won't do it again." The new letter and comments by Wheeler are the latest twist in a back-and-forth that Obama supporters believe did real damage to his campaign in the final days in New Hampshire, though Wheeler said she doubted that the e-mail had that much impact in the final day of the race. "I don't think this one thing would sway people," she said. Nonetheless, the conflict over Obama's "present" -- rather than "yes" or "no" -- votes on abortion bills in the Illinois legislature has left behind such deep divisions among the state's Democrats that some Obama supporters vowed, in the wake of her come-from-behind N.H. win, not to vote for Clinton, should she become the party's nominee. The e-mail arrived in selected New Hampshire in-boxes shortly after a postcard from the Clinton campaign that attacked Obama for being "unwilling to take a stand for choice" was mailed to homes. "The difference between Hillary's repeatedly standing up strong on choice and Obama's unwillingness to vote 'yes' or 'no' is a clear contrast, and we believe the voters in New Hampshire deserve to know this difference," the e-mail stated. "We support Hillary Clinton because she never ducked when choice was at stake." One of the Obama supporters who signed the reconciliation e-mail, Mary Rauh, said she did so because she was very worried that the rift created by the primary could seriously harm abortion rights efforts in the state if it was left unadressed. But she said that she remained aggrieved by the Clinton attack and by the willingness of so many Democratic leaders in the state to go along with it, and worried by reports that similar e-mails attacking Obama on abortion rights have gone out in other states preparing to vote. "We still have battles to fight in New Hampshire and we can't let dirty politics destroy the choice voice here. It's too important," Rauh said. "But for Clinton to do this to the choice community is so appalling. I can't tell you how it distresses me ... how devastating this and how horrified I am that the Clinton campaign would do this. I fear it will happen elsewhere and it's just appalling." Former President of Chicago NOW, Lorna Brett Howard, tells the story of why she switched from supporting Hillary Clinton to supporting Barack Obama.